BEST PRACTICE BRIEF. Five Key Ingredients of Social Media for Your Website. By Ted Prodromou

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1 BEST PRACTICE BRIEF Five Key Ingredients of Social Media for Your Website By Ted Prodromou

2 BEST PRACTICE BRIEF: Five Key Ingredients of Social Media for Your Website By Ted Prodromou Social media is the hottest trend on the Internet today. You can leverage the popularity of websites like Facebook and Twitter to drive targeted traffic to your website. I will be showing you case studies of companies that successfully integrated social media into their website creating extended online communities. Ingredient #1: Why your website must be the core of your social media strategy Facebook has over 3.5 billion visitors per month. YouTube has more than 1 billion visitors per month. Why wouldn t you want to put your website in the middle of these popular online communities? Case study Lifescript makes it very easy for you to connect with its community. Every page gives you the opportunity to connect with Facebook fans, Twitter followers, the blog community, and online forum members. Lifescript invites you to share success stories online. Your story is prominently featured so others can engage with you. This creates compelling dialogue while engaging readers, bringing them back time and time again. The stories also create a viral effect, attracting more visitors to the website daily. This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 2 of 6

3 Polls engage readers and gather valuable feedback. Web editors know exactly what web visitors are interested in and fresh content is created, engaging readers even more. Ingredient #2: How to unify your website s business goals with your social media strategy What are your websites business goals? Internet users are searching for solutions to their problems and want to be able to find solutions quickly. A well designed website with business goals provides quick solutions to prospects. When you know the pain points of your prospects, you can create easy-to-find solutions. Providing quality information to your prospects builds trust and credibility. Case study Website Business Goal = Reach new channels of customers, educate prospects and customers, provide support for existing customers and build a strong user community. Webtrends is leveraging the popularity of social media by creating products that make it easy to create social media apps and measure their success. For example, Facebook Analytics lets you track the effectiveness of your Facebook ad campaigns. The Open Exchange is a network of digital marketing solution providers that create apps using the Webtrends API. The WebTrends Developer Network provides resources and support to help you integrate your data with Webtrends or Webtrends data into your own application. Webtrends is leveraging the popularity of social media by creating products that make it easy to create social media apps and measure their success. Ingredient #3: Catching and Funneling More Leads To Your Website by Better Leveraging Social Media So how do you get the right people into your funnel? With billions of social media users, connecting with your target market can be challenging. So how do you connect with them online? Case Study The Problem: Limited Potential Market With a limited product line and limited audience, Duck Brand sales were flat. How did they expand their target market and increase sales? The Solution: Engage a New Generation Duck Brands embraced social media to expand its target market. Using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and their own online community, they ve engaged the teen generation. This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 3 of 6

4 The combination of social media, online communities and a creative contest, Stuck at the Prom, made Duck Tape a huge hit with the teens. YouTube videos showed the kids how to make Duck Tape wallets, ipod holders, flowers and even clothing. Students win college scholarships by creating prom outfits made entirely with Duck Tape. The outfits are very creative and colorful and the contest generates thousands of entries every year. Ingredient #4: How to Get the Most Out of User-Generated Content on Your Website People love to share pictures, videos and content on the Internet, especially when it will be seen by millions of people. User-generated content brings people back to your website, engages them to stay longer and increases the viral effect of your website. Case Study The Knot is a vibrant, online community for brides-to-be. The website is highly interactive, providing the bride-to-be many opportunities to interact with other brides, wedding planners, and wedding experts so you can plan your perfect wedding. This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 4 of 6

5 Every week, one lucky bride is selected as the Knottie Bride of the Week. The bride gets to share her proposal story, photos and her personal blog with the community in a featured section. It s an honor to be selected as the Knottie Bride of the Week and it s one of the most coveted sections on the website. Every member of The Knot gets her own personal blog. The most prolific bloggers are invited to become featured bloggers. Many brides love to share their personal journey as they plan their wedding and honeymoon. It s a great way for people to connect in the community. In addition to a strong online community at they have a large Facebook community. Most of the information on the Facebook community links back to the main website but it s a great way to attract more members by being an active Facebook community. Of course once you get married, The Knot is no longer relevant, so they created The Bump for pregnant women. The Bump is a logical continuation of The Knot community and is also a strong, vibrant community. The Nest is another active community that covers all aspects of your life from money matters to relationship advice. You can get weight-loss advice, great recipes, sex life advice, home decorating tips, and buying guides. The Nest is one of the premier, all-inclusive communities on the Internet. Ingredient 5: Best Practices for Measuring the Social Media Impact on Your Website Social Media Measurement Is Your Company Adequately Measuring its Social Media Initiatives? 3% 6% 70% 21% Yes No Don t Know N/A Source MarketingProfs.com Seventy percent of the companies surveyed to not adequately measure their social media activity. Of course, social media can be difficult to measure so you have to carefully determine what you can measure and how to measure the less tangible factors. It s even more difficult in B2B because price points are often higher and sales cycles are longer than B2C. In B2C, you can Tweet about a new product and include a link to that new product. If you use link tracking you can tell if that Tweet resulted in a sale. It s More Than Just Numbers What kind of web experience are we creating for our visitors? What is our online reputation? Do we have any dead online properties i.e. inactive Facebook Fan Page or LinkedIn Group? This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 5 of 6

6 Define Success Did your campaign generate more blog posts about your product by others than usual? Did your Tweet (or blog post) generate more traffic to your website? How many comments do you get for each blog post? How many discussions occur daily on your Facebook Group or Fan Page? Sample Measurement 2010 Super Bowl Ads Of the 38 brands that advertised during this year s Super Bowl, 75 percent of them reported twice as many blog posts about their product on Super Bowl Sunday compared with levels on Sunday evenings over the previous six months source Key Takeaways Ingredient #1: Your website must be the center of your online marketing activities. Create a presence in multiple social media communities so you can engage a larger audience. Lead them to your other social media communities and to your blog and website. Ingredient #2: Your website business goals must be unified with your social media strategy. If your website business goal is to generate more leads, your social media strategy should be to drive people to your website where they can download valuable or helpful information after they fill out a web form. Ingredient #3: Catching and funneling leads - There are billions of Internet users but only a few are your target audience. How do you rise above the noise so you can engage your target audience? Join in the social media conversations related to your product or service. Start by listening to the conversations to get a sense of the community. Add value to the conversation by providing useful information but don t sell! Engage the community with fun activities or interesting content. Use the conversations to understand what their biggest problems are and provide a solution. Ingredient #4: Design your website so it s easy for the visitors to generate content. Make your website as interactive as possible so the visitors can participate in conversations, share content and support each other. Ways to encourage user-generated content include: Forums/Discussions Polls/questions Blogs Ingredient #5: Measure your results by identifying your criteria for success. Measuring social media is difficult so you need to establish creative, meaningful benchmarks so you can tell if your social media campaigns are successful. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ted Prodromou is online marketing/seo analyst at Sitecore. This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied Page 6 of 6

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